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Taylor, Adams named to Lou Henson Watch List

APSU Athletics Communications

By Colby Wilson

APSU Athletics Communications

BOSTON—A pair of Austin Peay standouts have been named to the Lou Henson Award Preseason Watch List by CollegeInsider.com, with Terry Taylor and Jordyn Adams on the 50-man list.

The Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the top mid-major player in division I college basketball, honors the former Illinois and New Mexico State head coach who won 775 games in 41 seasons.

The award is named after Lou Henson who is the winningest coach in Illinois basketball history with 423 victories. During his 21 seasons (1975-1996), Henson led the Fighting Illini to 16 postseason appearances, including 12 NCAA tournaments and a Final Four appearance in 1989. Henson, who is also the all-time winningest coach in New Mexico State history with 289 victories, is one of only 11 coaches to take two different schools to the NCAA Final Four. His teams have made 19 NCAA appearances and four NIT appearances.

A Bowling Green, Kentucky native, Taylor averaged 21.8 points and 11.0 rebounds—the first Gov to average 20 and 10 since Otis Howard in 1977-78—while hitting 55.0 percent from the floor and averaging 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. He was the only player in the OVC last season to average more than a block and a steal per game—he recorded multiple blocks, steals or both in 22 of 33 games—and earned a league-record tying eight OVC Player of the Week honors.

Nationally, Taylor ranked among the Top 10 in total field goals (285, fourth), total minutes (1209:55, seventh), total rebounds (362, seventh), double-doubles (18, seventh), total points (718, eighth), offensive rebounds per game (4.00, eighth) and rebounds per game (11.0, tenth).

Taylor was one of four players in Division I to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game a year ago, and was the only player in the nation to lead his league in both scoring and rebounding. Last year, he became the only player in school history to start his career with three-straight 500-point seasons. He’s one of four active Division I players with 1,900 career points and 900 career rebounds, a trajectory that would make him just the fifth OVC player with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds early in his senior season. Among active Division I seniors, Taylor leads the way in total rebounds, rebounds per game, total field goals and double-doubles—all categories he also leads active OVC players in.

Last season, Taylor was the first player in program history to earn United States Basketball Writers Association All-District honors and picked up his third straight National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District nod. He also earned All-Tournament honors at the OVC Basketball Championships, in addition to his third straight All-OVC first-team honor, and was a Lou Henson All-American.

Taylor has found his way onto several Preseason Watch Lists, including the Jerry West Award and the Lute Olson Award.

Adams’ talent was evident as a freshman; the OVC Freshman of the Year and First Team All-OVC choice averaged 17.4 points on 42.0 percent shooting from the floor, earning a program-record 10 OVC Freshman of the Week honors during his first season as a Gov. He also earned Kyle Macy Freshman All-American honors from collegeinsider.com.

One of three Austin Peay men’s basketball players to score 500 or more points in their freshman season, Adams took over second on that list from Taylor toward the end of the regular season. At 17.4 points per game, Adams ranked fourth nationally among freshman, behind likely NBA draft picks Vernon Carey Jr. of Duke, Anthony Edwards of Georgia—the future No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and Kyle Macy Freshman of the Year honoree who Adams outdueled in a Dec. 30, 2019 meeting in Athens—and Massachusetts’ Tre Mitchell. Among Division I freshmen, he ranked second in total points (574) and fourth in field goal attempts (460).

Among league brethren, Adams finished sixth in scoring (17.4 ppg), fourth in free-throw percentage (79.0), ninth in three-pointers made (1.8 per game) and sixth in minutes (33.2) in his first season.

Taylor and Adams are joined among their OVC brethren on the Lou Henson Award Watch List by Eastern Kentucky’s Jomaru Brown, Murray State’s Tevin Brown and Belmont’s Grayson Murphy and Nick Muszynski. Austin Peay and Belmont are two of six mid-major programs with multiple players on the Watch List.

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